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What is a family? How do families of choice develop?

These questions permeate Via Chicago as ten people come together as a familial unit after each experiencing and (at least) beginning to recover from prior traumatic experiences. Ella and Linsk are a nonmonogamous couple who have helped one another heal and built an unconventional family together with Case, Kaisa, Reeves, Jo, Andrei, and Michelle over the course of a decade. As the novel begins, Mercury has just moved to Chicago to pursue graduate study when they begin a romantic relationship with Ella and a broader emotional engagement with the family. At the same time, Mercury is beginning to work through traumatic past experiences while Jo might have found love in the form of a new guy the family just calls Twitter Boy. As the novel progresses, we follow Mercury, Jo, and the rest of the family as each relates to their own and others’ traumatic experiences and bonds together over these and other shared aspects of their lives, desires, and goals.

Via Chicago could be utilized in the teaching of sociology, families, romantic relationships, gender, sexualities, geography, urban studies, LGBTQIA studies, polyamory, trauma recovery, or narrative courses, or of course, it could be read entirely for pleasure.
Candy Floss Collection is a set of three previously released, bestselling novels: Low-Fat Love, Blue, and Film. Together these novels create an overarching message about what it truly means to live a “big life” and the kinds of relationships we need with others and ourselves along the way. This is not a trilogy. This collection can be understood as installation art. Written with humor, cultural insight, and a wink, we follow each female protagonist and cast of offbeat characters as they search for love, friendship, and a sense of self. The characters must learn to mind the gap between their lives as they are and as they wish them to be, to chase their dreams even as they stumble on their insecurities, and to never settle for low-fat love. Along the way, characters are imaged in the glow of television and movie screens, their own stories shaped and illuminated by the stories in pop culture. Set in contemporary New York and Los Angeles, with special tributes to 1980s pop culture, each book questions and celebrates the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame. Candy Floss Collection can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. The book includes further engagement for class or book club use.
Film follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Tash Daniels aspires to be a filmmaker. Her short film was rejected from festivals, she has a stack of rejected grant proposals, and she lost her internship at a studio when her boss harassed her, forcing her to take a job as a personal shopper. Lu K is a hot deejay slowly working her way up the club scene, but no one is doing her any favors. Fiercely independent, she’s at a loss when she meets Paisley, a woman who captures her heart. Monroe Preston is the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. As a teenager she moved to LA in search of a “big” life, but now she wonders if reality measures up to fantasy. When a man in their circle finds sudden fame, each of these women is catapulted on a journey of self-discovery. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront how her past has shaped her fears and to choose how she wants to live in the present. Film is a novel about the underside of dreams, the struggle to find internal strength, the power of art, and what it truly means to live a “big” life. Frequently shown bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters in Film show us how the arts can reignite the light within. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Although fictional, Film is loosely grounded in interview research. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. Film can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a sequel to the bestselling novel, Blue.
Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires
There has never been a more crucial time for an intimate and thorough examination of the ways in which sexuality informs people’s lives. In Living Sexuality: Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires, the authors use autoethnography and personal narrative to provide first-hand accounts of the connections between sexuality, particularly LGBTQ identities, and the everyday experiences of relationships. Each story also invites readers to understand how sexuality informs communication as it occurs within diverse cultural contexts. In addition, the stories often focus on taboo issues overlooked or ignored in mainstream research about sexuality. Discussion questions appear at the end of each story that should stimulate engagement by students, instructors, and researchers.
Critical Storytelling in Urban Education shares poems and stories written by college students attending Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The poets and storytellers in this gripping volume address challenges they have faced: issues of sexual abuse, racial politics, cultural identity, stigmatization of marginalized communities, immigration, and other forms of struggle within and outside of urban educational settings. They are students in Education, Communication Studies, Business, and English, among other disciplines. Academic writing has been frequently reserved to professors and doctoral students. This collection is different in that the writing of undergraduate and master students is featured. In a world of unrest, strife, and division, critical stories are sacrosanct.
Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities
At a time when higher education institutions in the United States are the subject of increased media scrutiny and nearly continuous loss of funding by resource-strapped state legislatures, a greater understanding of higher education’s bulwark resource—mid-career research and teaching faculty—is more important than ever. Faculty at mid-career comprise the largest segment of academia. For some, this is a time of significant productivity and creativity, yet for others, it is a time of disillusionment and stagnation. Revealing impediments and pathways to faculty job satisfaction and productivity will strengthen higher education institutions by protecting, fostering, and maintaining this vital workforce. In this collection we will explore the lives of mid-career faculty as our authors uncover the complexities in this stage of professional life and discuss support systems for the transition into this period of faculties’ academic careers.

Mid-Career Faculty: Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities is designed for faculty leaders, administration, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of higher education. This text offers an examination into an often overlooked period of academic life, that of post-tenure mid-career faculty. Therefore, the aim of this text is to deepen our understanding of the lives of mid-career faculty, to identify barriers that impede job advancement and satisfaction, and to offer suggestions for changes to current policy and practice in higher education.

Contributors are: Joyce Alexander, Michael Bernard-Donals, Pradeep Bhardwaj, Kimberly Buch, Javier Cavazos, Jay R. Dee, Anne M. DeFelippo, Andrea Dulin, Jeremiah Fisk, Carrie Graham, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, Florencio Eloy Hernandez, Yvette Huet, Jane McLeod, Jennifer McGarry, Maria L. Morales, Eliza Pavalko, Laura Plummer, Mandy Rispoli, Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, J. Blake Scott, Michael Terwillegar, Jenna Thomas and Claudia Vela.
Original Essays about Educators in Popular Culture
Popular representations of teachers and teaching are easy to take for granted precisely because they are so accessible and pervasive. Our lives are intertextual in the way lived experiences overlap with the stories of others presented to us through mass media. It is this set of connected narratives that we bring into classrooms and into discussions of educational policy. In this day and time—with public education under siege by forces eager to deprofessionalize teaching and transfer public funds to benefit private enterprises—we ignore the dominant discourse about education and the patterns of representation that typify educator characters at our peril.

This edited volume offers a fresh take on educator characters in popular culture and also includes important essays about media texts that have not been addressed adequately in the literature previously. The 15 chapters cover diverse forms from literary classics to iconic teacher movies to popular television to rock ‘n’ roll. Topics explored include pedagogy through the lenses of gender, sexuality, race, disability, politics, narrative archetypes, curriculum, teaching strategies, and liberatory praxis. The various perspectives represented in this volume come from scholars and practitioners of education at all levels of schooling. This book is especially timely in an era when public education in the United States is under assault from conservative political forces and undervalued by the general public.

Contributors are: Steve Benton, Naeemah Clark, Kristy Liles Crawley, Elizabeth Currin, Mary M. Dalton, Jill Ewing Flynn, Chad E. Harris, Gary Kenton, Mark A. Lewis, Ian Parker Renga, Stephanie Schroeder, Roslin Smith, Jeff Spanke, and Andrew Wirth.
Why Does the Future Need Educational Poetics?
In Time for Educational Poetics the author addresses a discussion in the context of today’s philosophy of education and educational research. Conceptually, educational poetics is not limited to a theoretical construction, but rather focuses on the creative, imaginative and poetic experience, to being recreated in the teaching-learning process.

Educational poetics is rooted in the philosophical and aesthetic thought of South Asia, specifically in how contemplative and creative practices re-introduced by Rabindranath Tagore. Educational poetics is the convergence of research in creative contemplation and poetic creation, practices of conscious attention and mindfulness, and practices of peace education and philosophy of non-violence. This book leads to a perspective in thinking about the risks that jeopardize the future of young generations.
Undergraduates Share Their Stories of Struggle
Critical stories are more than just anecdotes or tales. They are narratives that raconter, or recount, the author’s own experiences, situating them in broader cultural contexts. Just as the autoethnographer situates the self in relation to the “others” of which the self is both a part and from which it is distinct, the critical storyteller situates his or her story of conflict in relation to the broader reality from which the conflict arises. The key is the reality that is being related and the perspective from which it is being shared.

In Critical Storytelling in Millennial Times, marginalized, excluded, and oppressed people share insights from their liminality and help readers learn from their perspectives and experiences. Examples of stories in this volume range from undergraduate perspectives on financial aid for college students, to narratives on first-hand police brutality, to heartbreaking tales about addiction, bullying, and the child sex trade in Cambodia. Undergraduate authors relate their stories and pose important questions to the reader about inciting change for the future. Follow along in their journeys and learn what you can do to make a change in your own reality.

Contributors are: Ben Brawner, Dwight Brown, Bryce Cherry, Kaytlin Jacoby, Jimmy Kruse, Dean Larrick, Bric Martin, Kara Niles, Claire Parrish, Grace Piper, Claire Prendergast, Alexsenia Ralat, Alec Reyes, Stephanie Simon, S. H. Suits, Katy Swift, Morgan Vogels, and Brittany Walsh.
Editors: Will Letts and Steve Fifield
STEM of Desire: Queer Theories and Science Education locates, creates, and investigates intersections of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and queer theorizing. Manifold desires—personal, political, cultural—produce and animate STEM education. Queer theories instigate and explore (im)possibilities for knowing and being through desires normal and strange. The provocative original manuscripts in this collection draw on queer theories and allied perspectives to trace entanglements of STEM education, sex, sexuality, gender, and desire and to advance constructive critique, creative world-making, and (com)passionate advocacy. Not just another call for inclusion, this volume turns to what and how STEM education and diverse, desiring subjects might be(come) in relation to each other and the world.

STEM of Desire is the first book-length project on queering STEM education. Eighteen chapters and two poems by 27 contributors consider STEM education in schools and universities, museums and other informal learning environments, and everyday life. Subject areas include physical and life sciences, engineering, mathematics, nursing and medicine, environmental education, early childhood education, teacher education, and education standards. These queering orientations to theory, research, and practice will interest STEM teacher educators, teachers and professors, undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, policy makers, and academic libraries.

Contributors are: Jesse Bazzul, Charlotte Boulay, Francis S. Broadway, Erin A. Cech, Steve Fifield, blake m. r. flessas, Andrew Gilbert, Helene Götschel, Emily M. Gray, Kristin L. Gunckel, Joe E. Heimlich, Tommye Hutson, Kathryn L. Kirchgasler, Michelle L. Knaier, Sheri Leafgren, Will Letts, Anna MacDermut, Michael J. Reiss, Donna M. Riley, Cecilia Rodéhn, Scott Sander, Nicholas Santavicca, James Sheldon, Amy E. Slaton, Stephen Witzig, Timothy D. Zimmerman, and Adrian Zongrone.